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When someone passes away, the thought of settling his or her estate can place undue pressure on an already grieving family. The executors named in the Will are responsible for handling the executry process but they can choose to appoint a professional firm, such as VMH Solicitors, to act on their behalf. Our Executry Team have many years of experience supporting bereaved families to settle an estate, providing a professional and compassionate service.

Depending on the complexity of the estate, it may be beneficial to engage the services of a professional firm, for example if:

  • The estate is large
  • The deceased owned a property
  • The deceased owned a business
  • The Will includes instructions to establish a trust
  • The Will is unclear
  • Inheritance tax is payable on the estate


What VMH Solicitors will do, once appointed:

  • Take over day-to-day administration of the estate
  • Gather information about the deceased’s assets and liabilities
  • Apply to the court for Confirmation
  • Collect assets and settle liabilities
  • Transact property sales
  • Distribute assets to the named beneficiaries
  • Settle any income tax and inheritance tax
  • Produce estate accounts


At VMH Solicitors we understand that bereavement is a very difficult and emotional time for everyone. It may offer some comfort to know that other than registering the death within 8 days and paying any liability to inheritance tax within 6 months, the estate can be settled at a pace set by the family.

Executries FAQ

What should I do when someone dies?

There are a number of things that should be done immediately to help with funeral arrangements. These include:

  • Notifying the family GP
  • Registering the death at one of the Registrars Offices in Edinburgh


How and where do I register the death?

There are various Registration Offices in Edinburgh and the Lothians. For a detailed list, with contact information, click here.

You must make an appointment with the relevant Registration Office, to register a death.

What documents do I need to take with me?

You should take the birth certificate and marriage certificate of the deceased, as well as the medical certificate, signed by a doctor, stating the cause of death.

Can I make funeral arrangements before I register the death?

You need a death certificate and other documentation provided by the Registrars Office before you can make funeral arrangements.

I have been named executor of an estate, what are my duties?

Being named as an executor of an estate, means that you will be responsible for a list of administrative tasks, related to the deceased’s processions. These can vary from making up inventories, completing inheritance tax returns to distributing the residue of the estate to the beneficiaries – to name a few.

VMH Solicitors can attend to most of these tasks on your behalf. Contact our Private Client Department for a free, no-obligation quote.